Ollie and Moritz are two teenagers who will never meet. Each of them lives with a life-affecting illness. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures while Moritz has a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. If they did meet, Ollie would seize, but turning off the pacemaker would kill Moritz. Through an exchange of letters, the two boys develop a strong bond of friendship that becomes a lifeline during dark times - until Moritz reveals that he holds the key to their shared, sinister past and has been keeping it from Ollie all along.
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I feel let down...
On its face, I wanted to like this book. It had an interesting plot summary, with unique introspective characters... but Kirby Heyborne's "German" accent was affected and stilted and came and went... and the depiction of a blind character who can navigate solely with echolocation and have never learned to read braille just didn't do it for me.
I am a person who is blind, so I know most of the general tools in the toolbox of someone who can't see. Sure, denial is part of coming to grips with one's life circumstances, but this kid fooled everyone... really?
By the time I stopped reading this book, sci-fi elements had started to enter the plot, but by that point the blind-person stereotypes had already been written on the page for 3 hours and I couldn't take it anymore.
Eric Michael Summerer was terrific; Kirby Heyborne has always been hit or miss.
This book had SUCH promise... it really did. Even as I KNEW to some degree what I was getting in to from blind friends who've read it, I couldn't slog through the worst stereotypes about blind people, that make us look more socially awkward and more comic-book hero than we really are.
If you treat this like a sci-fi novel from the get-go - granted, one with terrific insights about denial, isolation, and friendship - it's worth the read. But I feel like I was expecting a friendship story that happened to include a blind character. Clearly, the author went with the sci-fi angle, did NO research about blind peoples' capabilities, and tried to suck in readers with a general-market fiction novel.